Thursday, January 20, 2011

Game #48 - at New Jersey Devils

Game 48
Penguins (29-14-4, 62 points) at Devils (13-29-3, 29 points)

Why does it matter?
This is a divisional game on the road against an opponent that is always tough for the Pens. It doesn't matter that the Devils stink this year - two points on the road in the Atlantic is never easy.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Three wins in a row has the Pens in a good place.
  • Devils - They're excited about "making a push" after winning three out of four. The last time they won three out of four (Nov 22 - 27), they went on a 2-15 streak.
Questions to be answered
  • Will the absence of Geno (and Sid) have an impact on Staal? I think so - he'll now see the #1 defense pairing, maybe for the first time in his career, for an entire game.
  • What line will Jeffrey play on? I think it'll be the fourth line, but I'd like to see him get a decent amount of ice time. I think he can do more long term for the team than Letestu can.
Keys to the game
  • Lock them down. The only reason the Devils have won a few games here is they're finally scoring some goals. Keep them at 3 or less and you have a good chance.
  • Check the numbers - the Devils have used 32 different skaters so far this year.
  • Capitalize on Kovalchuk. Ilya has 26 points this year and is a -27 (wow - that is really bad).

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